Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 269-285, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-16-269-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
27 Jan 2016
Discussing the role of tropical and subtropical moisture sources in cold season extreme precipitation events in the Mediterranean region from a climate change perspective
S. O. Krichak1, S. B. Feldstein2, P. Alpert1, S. Gualdi3, E. Scoccimarro3, and J.-I. Yano4 1Department of Geosciences, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
2Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA
3Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, INGV, Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici, CMCC, Bologna, Italy
4CNRM/GAME UMR 3589, Météo-France and CNRS, 31057 Toulouse CEDEX, France
Abstract. This paper presents a review of a large number of research studies performed during the last few decades that focused on the investigation of cold season extreme precipitation events (EPEs) in the Mediterranean region (MR). The publications demonstrate the important role of anomalously intense transports of moist air from the tropical and subtropical Atlantic in the occurrence of EPEs in the MR. EPEs in the MR are directly or indirectly connected to narrow bands with a high concentration of moisture in the lower troposphere, i.e., atmospheric rivers, along which a large amount of moisture is transported from the tropics to midlatitudes. Whereas in a significant fraction of the EPEs in the western MR moisture is transported to the MR from the tropical Atlantic, EPEs in the central, and especially the eastern, MR are more often associated with intense tropical moisture transports over North Africa and the Red Sea. The moist air for the EPEs in the latter part of the MR also mainly originates from the tropical Atlantic and Indian oceans, and in many cases it serves as a temporary moisture reservoir for future development. The paper is supplemented by the results of a test for a possible connection between declining Arctic sea ice and the climatology of intense precipitation in the eastern MR. Based on the results of the evaluation supporting those from the earlier climate change analyses and modeling studies, it is concluded that a further anthropogenic global warming may lead a greater risk of higher rainfall totals and therefore larger winter floods in western and central parts of the MR as a consequence of stronger and more numerous Atlantic atmospheric rivers, possibly accompanied by a decline in the number of EPEs in the eastern part of the MR.

Citation: Krichak, S. O., Feldstein, S. B., Alpert, P., Gualdi, S., Scoccimarro, E., and Yano, J.-I.: Discussing the role of tropical and subtropical moisture sources in cold season extreme precipitation events in the Mediterranean region from a climate change perspective, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 269-285, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-16-269-2016, 2016.
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
This paper presents a review of a large number of research studies focused on the investigation of cold season extreme precipitation events (EPEs) in the Mediterranean region (MR) demonstrating an important role of anomalously intense transports of moist air from the tropical and subtropical Atlantic in the occurrence of the MR EPEs. The issue of a possible role of the recent past decline in Arctic sea ice in the climatology of the MR EPEs during the period is also addressed.
This paper presents a review of a large number of research studies focused on the investigation...
Share